Unfortunately, we did not build a room onto the house, so we had to mash our bedroom down the stairs, through the living room and into the former den. To make room for our bed, we shoved the futon couch (ie: Luxury Guest Bed) into the living room, and piled bins of items we can't bear to throw away but don't know if we really like around the bedroom so it will feel cozy.
We have kind of a hoarding issue. Some of the problem stems from being scavengers. And when I say, we, I mean "I". I don't like leaving anything I can get for free that looks remotely useful. I also hate throwing anything away that might be useful in the future. This results in saving some really crappy stuff. Jonathan is an advocate of ditching crappy stuff, but our problem is that we disagree on which items are crappy and we need a UN certified mediator.
This whole rearrangement is about as interesting as listening to someone you've never met gush about their grandchildren, but it's key for understanding the following conversation which I had yesterday morning.
I bought an Ikea Poang chair for Father's Day. We couldn't afford the matching footstool, so we borrowed the footstool from the fake fancy name swivel easy chair that Jonathan loved until it collapsed on him. That chair moved to the workshop until we can drag it to the dump.
"I'm going to take some things to the Essex Recycling Shed." I say this quietly. If the kids hear me, they will first beg to come so they can salvage other people's crap to come rot in my house. Then they will realize I am trying to ditch beloved toys and immediately play with every ignored toy in the house.
My beloved understands these facts without reviewing them. Further validating my unspoken concern, Noodle enters the room.
"What are you planning to bring?" He matches my tone and I watch Noodle out of the corner of my eye.
"The C-A-S-T-L-E and the D-O-R-A H-O-U-S-E."
There is a long pause as Jonathan makes his way through my spelling. I do a mental spell check. I can't really spell out loud which it makes it much harder to communicate by spelling.
He nods. "Got it."
"Would you like me to take anything else?"
He raises his eyebrows. "Do you have something in mind?"
"One of the things cluttering up your workshop?" I am trying to be nice. Honestly.
"Like....?" His tone implies I should be careful.
"Maybe the chair?"
"But I'm using the footstool that goes with that chair."
We look at the footstool that nearly, but not quite, matches the Poang chair.
"Okay. I'm not suggesting we get rid of the footstool. Just the chair."
"But they go together."
I bury my eyes in my hands so I won't roll my eyes. Rolling your eyes is really bad for your marriage.
"If you bring the chair to the recycling shed, no one will know that it had a footstool. They'll just say 'Cool! A chair!'"
Jonathan, plaintively, "But the chair is so much more comfortable with the footstool."
I stifle a sigh. I'm very patient. "Okay. We take them to the shed together and you can use the tapestry footstool."
He shakes his head. "No. No, it's not the right height."
I abandon my suggestion. Jonathan distracts Noodle as I lug the large plastic castle past her out of the house, return for the large Dora House, lumbering in a tiptoe. I am a ninja of plastic house removal.
En route to the toy store where Q will spend his birthday gift card, I stop at the Essex recycling shed and drop off the two houses. Q emerges with a remote for an antique vcr that has dials. I think this is an excellent trade. Maybe Q will take it apart, figure out how it works and become the next Bill Gates. I green light the addition to our home junk.
After subtracting the mobile homes from the hoarding stash, I can nearly get to the other side of the laundry/sewing room/treadmill room/dog's bedroom/closet. Noodle has not noticed the loss of her plastic doll houses yet, so I feel smug.
(Laundry and Miscellaneous Room - See how much larger it is now that I've removed the plastic real estate?)
The really good news is that I am an early morning ninja and Jonathan hasn't noticed the missing easy chair.